Taiwan’s Kavalan Whisky Grows Up

Call me crazy, but I had no idea Kavalan was a legit whisky brand. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact I don’t drink whisky…but here we are, talking about how Taiwan’s home-grown Kavalan whisky has won international competitions, wins blind taste tests by whisky experts and is exported overseas with sales growing steadily. Kavalan even made the New York Times back in 2010.

Actually I kind of love that I had no clue. And now I want to take just the tiniest sip of Kavalan so I can say I tried Taiwan-made whisky. Maybe I’ll even go with the boyfriend to Yilan to take their distillery tour. I feel enlightened.

For fellow dummies, here’s some background on Kavalan from The Robb Report dated June 10, 2014…

“Built in the scenic county of Yilan, the distillery and its single-malt whiskeys are named Kavalan, after the aboriginal ethnic group that inhabited the area. Construction of the distillery began in 2005 and was completed in nine months, a notable achievement, considering that it normally takes at least five years to build a distillery from scratch.

“The very first drop of Kavalan new-made spirit was produced on March 11, 2006,” says Ian Chang, Kavalan’s master blender. “That was a very historical moment, not just for Kavalan, but for Taiwan as well, because it was the very first Taiwanese spirit produced. Since then, we’ve been producing whiskey 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

The sweet, soft water used in Kavalan’s distillation comes from the nearby Yuanshan and Central Mountain Ranges, the barley is imported from Europe, and the copper pot stills were built to order in Scotland. But it is the barrels that make the most dramatic difference in Kavalan, which may be the ultimate vatted single-malt whiskey—meaning that numerous aged barrels of spirits are mixed and matched to produce the whiskey’s specific characteristics.”

Photo Credit: Kavalan Facebook Page

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